Skip to main content

Free Press, PublicKnowledge Hammer Net Neutrality Decision

The FCC was getting it from both sides Tuesday following its 3-2 party-line vote to approve new network neutrality

Despite Commission Republicans' criticism of the rules as a regulatory overreach that would cost jobs, innovation and
investment, and would be smacked down by the courts as unsupported in the record, some network net neutrality groups were equally happy with those rules, saying they did not reach nearly far enough.

FCC Chairman Juiilus Genachowski had billed the order as a middle course between two unacceptable extremes.

Public Knowledge called on its supporters to tweet that future openness battles had not been headed off because the FCC "punted" on the hard questions. "This was supposed to be an FCC that fought for you, instead it has forced you to fight for yourself. They created rules filled with loopholes and undefined terms," the group said in an e-mail request for the tweets.

Free Press called the vote a "squandered opportunity," saying the order contained loopholes that indicated it was
done to appease bit networks rather than "millions of Americans who asked for real Net Neutrality."
But not all the network neutrality fan reaction was so negative.

"Dish Network applauds Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Copps and Clyburn for adopting critically important net neutrality rules. The Commission's Order is a solid framework for protecting the open Internet," said DISH Network Charlie Ergen in a statement.

Markham Ericson of the Open Internet Coalition, which had participated in some stakeholder talks about a compromise proposal, said that "Today's vote, coupled with strong future enforcement, would provide a degree of certainty to all participants in the broadband marketplace and help foster an open wireline Internet online ecosystem." But he also said the regs should apply equally to wireless and wired broadband. the order only applies some of them to wireless, citing the nascent mobile broadband market and differences in network architecture.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.